June 23, 2021

Digitized Supply Chain

Augmented reveals the stories behind the new era of industrial operations, where technology will restore the agility of frontline workers. 

In episode 43 of the podcast, the topic is: Digitized Supply Chain. Our guest is Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba, Head of Global Manufacturing IT, Johnson & Johnson.

In this conversation, we talk about why J&J puts operators at the center of its strategy, the empowerment effect of frontline operations apps, the evolution of personalized production, and how supply chain becomes an integral part of product development.

After listening to this episode, check out J&J as well as Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba's social medial profile:

Trond's takeaway: "Operators are the key to the next phase of industrial evolution, that which involves the deep digitalization of manufacturing, its supply chain, production capacity, personalization, and with that the reinvention of factory production itself."

Thanks for listening. If you liked the show, subscribe at Augmentedpodcast.co or in your preferred podcast player, and rate us with five stars. If you liked this episode, you might also like episode 21, The Future of Digital in Manufacturing, episode 27, Industry 4.0 Tools or episode 10, A Brief History of Manufacturing Software

Augmented--conversations on industrial tech.


#43_Digitized Supply Chain with Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba, 

[00:00:00] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:00:00] Augmented reveals the stories behind a new era of industrial operations or technology will restore the agility of frontline workers. In episode 43 of the podcast, the topic is digitized supply chain. Our guest is Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba head of global manufacturing it at Johnson and Johnson. In this conversation, we talk about why J and J puts operators at the center of its strategy, the empowerment effect of frontline operations apps, the evolution of personalized production and how supply chain becomes an integral , product development. Augmented is a podcast for leaders hosted by futurists Trond Arne Undheim presented by tulip.co that frontline operations platform and associated with MFG.Works. The manufacturing upskilling community launched at the World Economic Forum. [00:01:00] Each episode, dives deep into a contemporary topic of concern across the industry and airs at 9:00 AM us Eastern time every Wednesday, argumented the industry 4.0 podcast. 

[00:01:15] Arun how are you? 

[00:01:16] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:01:16] I'm doing great. How are you Trond?

[00:01:19] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:01:19] It's wonderful to see you and hear you. I I'm very excited. This is a, this is big interview. I you have really big responsibilities. Aroon we're going to get to that in a second, global manufacturing that is a wide topic.

[00:01:33] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:01:33] Yes indeed. But the more bigger responsibility, but more importantly, what we are privileged is how we are impacting the lives of patients and customers around the world with our products I, that comes with the privilege to work in the healthcare. 

[00:01:49]Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:01:49] I'm glad you said that because as we're tracing, I want to ask you a little bit about how you got to where you are.

[00:01:55] And I know from public records at least that, you have [00:02:00] part of your schooling in India. So you grew up in India. My assumption is, and you got your computer there you worked in India for a little while for the Tata system. And then you made your way over to Michigan. You have your MBA from there.

[00:02:13] And then from what I understand you then had a bit of a career in automotive and then moved on to Dell and and this brings us to J and J how did you end up in the U S and how was that journey for you? You've gone, you've come quite quite a bit of. 

[00:02:29] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:02:29] Yes. It's interesting that you asked how I ended up in us.

[00:02:33] Oh, for me,it was choice of either going to Japan or to us, and I'm a vegetarian. So for me, us was a better choice, growing up when you're a kid, you're only two years of experience, the decisions that you make. So I'm proud of this, right? 

[00:02:53] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:02:53] That's funny, but you told me around that you came here with a briefcase and a $10 bill that said, I guess not an [00:03:00] unusual immigrant story, but it is still quite striking.

[00:03:04] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:03:04] Absolutely. I grew up in a very small middle-class family. So when I landed the briefcase and it would be a dollar bill, actually two $10 bills. And out of that one $10 bill, I still have as a reminder of where I started. 

[00:03:22] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:03:22] Wow. And and I, cut your career a little short because you have had the opportunity to work in all of the brick countries, essentially.

[00:03:29] And you now manage teams across, I think at least 28 countries. And and that brings us up to, to present day where I was alluding to this, but you have a very wide responsibility.  We're going to talk about some of it. Can you tell me a little bit about your current role? 

[00:03:49] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:03:49] My team supports all the manufacturing operations for J and J across the globe.

[00:03:54]We have a hundred plus manufacturing plants in pharmaceutical, [00:04:00] consumer medical devices and vision. As I mentioned earlier privilege to be in healthcare, to serve our patients and customers. We are in 28 countries my team is spread across and it's a very humbling experience to really work in a global team and continue to support our operations across the way.

[00:04:20]Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:04:20] Not only that 28 countries, but I understand you, you operate about a hundred manufacturing sites, some obviously kind of state of the art, very big and sprawling others actually very small or at least mid size and have all kinds of other issues. What is the breadth of products you make?

[00:04:41]You make vaccines to make knees, artificial knees. What else do you guys make? 

[00:04:47]Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:04:47] This is amazing. Like I used to work for ford motor company and Dell. Definitely they are also very strong in manufacturing. However, there, the manufacturing processes are very similar. I to [00:05:00] decide that assembly process or kitting and manufacturing it Dell, like I'm for J and J this is in any type of manufacturing.

[00:05:08] You say we got it, but then we'll talk about process manufacturing, our discrete manufacturing. We have so in the pharmaceutical area, we produce biological products where we actually grow life cells and make medicine of profit. As you mentioned, like the vaccines and biological products, we also have big chemical products where we actually use big chemical reactions to produce the in medical devices, we have artificial knees and hips, which are more like a Foundry operation, right? You take a more, you put an artificial me and make it happen. And we have sutures that we produce. And in the consumer side, we have different types of liquids, gels, and tablets that we produce. And finally, in vision care is where we produce our lenses in a very high [00:06:00] velocity manufactured.

[00:06:00]If you look at the breadth of the manufacturing processes and products, we support almost every aspect of manufacturing. 

[00:06:07]Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:06:07] This brings us to today's topic. We're going to talk a little bit about digitizing these operations, the supply chains, but a bit of the whole thing and think about what digital means to all of it, whether it's in pharma 4.0 or indeed, manufacturing and industry 4.0, can you maybe just kick us off a little bit and say, what does digital mean to your business today and how do you, what is your main take on how to approach.

[00:06:35] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:06:35] Then the first thing is really, I see digital as a means to an end. So if you think about it, it's really why digital is the first person and then digital data to be very clearly understanding why we want to digitize. We are in the journey to transform our supply chain so that we can put our patients, our customers at the center of the supply chain.

[00:06:59] And how [00:07:00] we can get our products to our customers in a fast, nimble way. And in an affordable way. If you think about healthcare, the key is affordability as well as the ability for us to deliver what they need when they need it. You could think about you in the vaccines. You got to producing. Now we had a manufacturing only in some locations, but we have distributed them.

[00:07:22] It would have been right whether too sophisticated networks like US are developing areas where we don't even have a lot of transportation like Africa. So how do we put the customer and the patient at the center and how can we actually serve them in a much more faster way and in an affordable way.

[00:07:41] So that is the why behind our supply chain journey and digitization is a very critical component of that transformation. How do we provide that end to end connectivity so that we can reach our customers and patients? How do we understand what is happening in the markets and react to [00:08:00] those things since quickly, as well as the respond quickly using digital.

[00:08:06] And then ensured that we are delighting our customers beyond just our products that we have world-class products, but how do we make sure that we are delivering the same customer experience to our patients and customers? So for us, the work from the digital side is how do we build that DNP and connectivity so that we can reach our customers. We can sense and respond very quickly and finally, how do we make sure that it significantly improve our customers? 

[00:08:35] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:08:35] I want to pick up on a couple of things, but let me first ask a basic question. When I think supply chain, I think back to business school where I was teaching for a while, and I think a fairly dry subject that was a specialty subject.

[00:08:46] You either cared about it and then you wanted to become an expert and obviously dominate the field. But now you're speaking of it as if it is a much more integrated part of product development, which I think it was, that was certainly taught as [00:09:00] two separate courses even in the very immediate past.

[00:09:03] But you think of the supply chain as, as completely integrated with what you do, what you produce. 

[00:09:09] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:09:09] Absolutely. If you think of, or even like where the healthcare is a headache, I think about personalized healthcare. If I'm taking a knee, like now we ship six or seven needs to the. Start again so that they pick the right knee during the operation.

[00:09:24] And we are getting a place where we take the picture of the knee, get it back and make the product, and then even 3d print it and give it to the surgeon. Or if you think about how we are personalizing, where we are taking the blood from the patient and making the product that is very specific to the patient and shipping them, shipping it to them.

[00:09:45] So the, this whole flow of here is my R and D and then it goes to supply chain and then we deliver it. Whereas the city is now becoming a connected world where this all comes together. So it's really a very integrated part of product development and supply [00:10:00] chain. So you really look at that NPN and then digital is the one that is actually accelerating the journey because I can now connect all of these things as a digital thread and then really push down on a follower. 

[00:10:12]Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:10:12] But producing for a batch of one, it's enormously challenging at scale. No. 

[00:10:18] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:10:18] Yeah, absolutely. That is the how do I produce that batch of one?

[00:10:23] And if you think about the future where we can actually get to that and where we can produce that of one for almost like everything that we do is where we are headache. You're right. There are significant investments in terms of our manufacturing, operations, and the equipment that we need. And there is that balance between the scale that you need to have, what  the personalization that is needed. And the balance, I don't think it depends on can go either one way or the other, but really we still have lot more to move to the personalized level. Like how do we really become a full supply chain so that we can [00:11:00] produce that batch of one wherever possible. And look at that from the customer and patient angle. If you have somebody who has a traumatic surgery going on and there, they have a bond that we need to fix, and it is not the same from one trauma to another trauma right there, you can come back and say, okay, here is a batch of things that I'm producing and I'm going to be good to you.

[00:11:26] So the customer expectations are also changing, as a patient and as a consumer, their expectations are also changing. And so we are moving to that batch of one. And how do you do it for different products and how do you do it for different manufacturing processes is going to be tailored to that business model and then the product.

[00:11:49] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:11:49] So another thing that one might assume when we speak about this, because okay. Bachelor one, but it has to be an advanced system and its club covering the globe. Historically if a factory [00:12:00] has machinery or systems and digital technologies, that it is a very monolithic massive system. I understand that you have taken at least some care these days to focus on the operators.

[00:12:15]Why is that so crucial to you? And what does that mean for the kinds of technologies that you're putting into your factories nowadays? 

[00:12:23]Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:12:23] That is a very good question. If you think of our, where manufacturing is hindered so that we can drive that flexibility that approved so there we can quickly respond.

[00:12:34] We have to relocate our manufacturing operations. That means they need to be a lot more nimbler and lot more flexible. And we, lot of technologies are emerging and that's all driving. But for us at the end of the day, it all comes back to that operator. We are here to serve the operator. We call it hashtag operator rules [00:13:00] because think about this, we can do all these flexible well things we can bring in automation. We can bring in robots and all of it. At the end of the day, there is an operatorat the line who is making it happen. So how do we make sure that we put the operator at the center and then create the experience for the operator so that it makes lot easier. If you take any of our plans, the technology is going very fast. We used to have like ERP system, the operator has to deal with an MES. The operator then has to look at the equipment interface that the equipment provider has given. Oh no, I'm coming from a technology and saying, okay, here is this smart glass where a smart glass, and you can look at everything think about the operator, how complex we have made the operator's life.

[00:13:50] So we are trying to take a step back and say, how do we, first of all, make it simple. Number two is how do we empower them? So far, we all said that [00:14:00] all the technologies, the either manufacturing engineering, or the warranty, our IP people, we held the keys for the technology, but how do we really empower the operators so that they can make it flexible and then they can make it nimble.

[00:14:17] So that, that gives you the velocity that we need at our Manufacturing. 

[00:14:20]Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:14:20] It's striking, right? When you think about at least digital technologies now, clearly, there have been machines in factories for centuries. That was the various industrial revolution. So there has, of course been machines that could have been, that could be operated by operators to some degree, but the kind of control and the detail level customization that's now becoming possible. It doesn't come naturally. It's it takes a lot of attention to create those kinds of platforms. How how do you see that evolving and what, for example, we said, you have over a hundred different sites, some of them, large others, much smaller.

[00:14:57]What sort of approaches are you taking to [00:15:00] experiment with these solutions? 

[00:15:03] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:15:03] It's a purpose driven experimentation, because to your point, when we have these large, fully automated factories, the key is how fast I can introduce new capabilities into that operation. Whereas when I go to a middle tier factory with the semi-automated or not as much automated. It is a very targeted problem. When I have an OEE problem, let me figure out how do I experiment to bring the technology, but at the boat, the spectrums, the key is to make sure that there is a good, robust architecture principle. That is good, robust security.

[00:15:43] And then there is a good data architecture, but from a solutions point of view, how do we make sure that these are modular? I think about the mainframe days where you need to know all those cores to run the application to now you'll have apps on your device. So how do we [00:16:00] break this monolithic technologies that are running the operations into smaller apps by bite sized chunks that we can actually deploy very quickly or pull it out. And that gives me the flexibility to say for a large site, I'm more of a deploy all these hundred apps so that they can run it as a suite. But as I go through a smaller site, I might only out deploy two of those applications for a specific.

[00:16:24] So just like really breaking down by number one, by purpose, number two, having a good, consistent architecture and number three, really breaking this monolithic things into smaller apps and nimble apps that we can drive. 

[00:16:37]Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:16:37] I know that you've tried some are Tulip.co solutions. Tulip a app system, but clearly  the bar to completely replace, any number of advanced technologies that have developed over literally decades is not done overnight. How do you see the journey that app developers on the manufacturing shop floor? What sort of [00:17:00] journey are they going to have, with you, to prove themselves over time to gradually.

[00:17:04]Solve many of these very ambitious problems. You described them pretty eloquently, but it's not like they're different in each factory. Like you pointed out and we're dealing with operators. Some of whom are very advanced and have taken, all kinds of industry for courses and others who have not. So this is a bit of a journey. 

[00:17:23] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:17:23] Yeah, it is a journey. And, but there are similarities to this journey. If you think of or maintenance of the equipment. It used to be a strong hold of those engineers that are sitting somewhere and they get to the equipment when there is a help needed look at where we are now with operator asset care, we are empowering the operators to own that equipment and drive it.

[00:17:46] So that is the same journey that we have to go through from the digital side. And the key is, first of all, making sure that we have platforms like Tulip and others. That help us to be able to quickly [00:18:00] download those apps. Of course, in a very consistent framework, especially for us when we are in a regulated industry, some of those framework and validation things become extremely critical, right?

[00:18:11] How do you set those boundaries? The second thing is educate the operators so that they feel empowered, that they want the work that they are doing and they can shape it in the way they need to do it. And they continue to train them. And then the third level is to really train the rest of the organization.

[00:18:31] If the management and then the operations leaders, they all need to be digitally savvy to drive that and then see the lag. It is a journey, but you need to be very clear about why we are doing it and putting the operators at the center and helping them. The thing that is going to help us is this whole COVID pandemic situation.

[00:18:53]If you think about. The digital savvy of almost like the antiwar [00:19:00] significantly improved every operator, whether we like it or not.They might not have a degree, but they know how to order their Uber eats. They know how to use an app. So we are seeing the digital literacy coming up very fast.

[00:19:15] So this is a great opportunity for us to drive the transformation, but you're right. It is a journey. 

[00:19:21] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:19:21] But you also mentioned regulated industry. To what extent can some of these apps kind of slide in between the cracks and do stuff that was never covered by regulation? And to what extent do you actually need to take very good care that you are I guess also updating the regulations and knocking on the doors of governments and telling them that look there's an app for this too, and we need to upgrade the regulatory framework to take that into account. So it seems to be a bit of both. 

[00:19:48] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:19:48] Yes it's. It's it's absolutely hit it on that you need to do both right. One is first of all, have a good robust architected. That's why the platforms like Tulip, nip ensure [00:20:00] that the architecture is robust so that it has enough control so that we can drive this validation and qualification those things and giving the parameters of the freedom for the operators within those constraints.

[00:20:14]And let's not forget cybersecurity, which is a huge thing, especially when we come to the OT, cyber security as well. And on the other side, , we need to continue the regulators and work with the regulators to make sure that they understand what we are doing.

[00:20:30] We are now working with the regulators to educate them on real-time release. How can we actually use the data rather than having to produce the samples and batches as opposed to relying on a continuous data that is coming, that shows that your processes in compliance. So working on both sides with the framework so that it is robust as well as regulators make sure that they understand how the technology is transforming. At the same time, the compliance is improving. Think about it when you are doing samples, one, you're [00:21:00] taking one sample from a batch, but when you are doing continuous sampling, you have the whole sample, whole private product batch data you have in your hands.

[00:21:09]So what, continue to work with them to make sure that the regulators are also coming with us. 

[00:21:14]Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:21:14] How is pharma 4.0 going? Is it going? The acronym is the same as industry 4.0 is a 4.0, actually happening in our, or are we still in 3.0? 

[00:21:25] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:21:25] I, we fought in my ward. We have I would say we still have 2.0 to 3.1, two, 3.33.

[00:21:34] And there are some great examples where we have the 4.0. When I talk about what we're doing with the personalized solutions. When we talk about how we are bringing IOT to the forefront, how we are doing real-time release with digital twins of our whole process. Like now we have digital twins for, even for [00:22:00] bioreactors, which are very difficult to characterize.

[00:22:03]Yes, the journey is there. The key is to keep in mind why we are doing it right, to really make sure that we have the patient that are waiting for our products and the mind, and then really transform around to support that. So the journey is continuing. Yes, there are very good examples for pharma 4.0. But are we there yet? No, but is everybody working togetherto get there? Yes.

[00:22:30] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:22:30] Let's talk a little bit about this operator and the training of an operator, because training the workforce is something, I ask a lot of the people who come on this podcast about just because, technology is one thing.

[00:22:43] Training people on the technology to implement it in a fruitful way is a whole other challenge. What approach are you taking at? The whole sort of J and J complex when it comes to training or existing future and even training your ecosystem around it. 

[00:23:01] [00:23:00] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:23:01] They've got a couple of things. One is first of all, making sure that you start with the user experience in mind and design everything from there.

[00:23:10] X also need to start with the design aspect. The second thing is how do we make it simple? The more simple you make, the less training, how many people are getting trained on how to use So really how do we make it so simpler, but actually in the future, I'm thinking like, and this I actually got from one of your podcasts Trond is, are we going to get the appliance?

[00:23:33]There is no interface, right? So can we get our apps to upstate where the internet, there is no interface, then your training becomes a lot more. Part of the solution rather than you have a goal or no, I need to learn this and I need, no, it should be so intuitive. That leads like my gesturing with my hands.

[00:23:53]So how do I get to that stage? Hopefully that shape comes in soon, right? As you've been discussing with some of them, [00:24:00] but for me it is really how do we keep on making it so simple that it becomes intuitive and it starts with the design where you put the operator and the central end designer on the app.

[00:24:11]Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:24:11] Can we talk a little bit more specifically about the digitized supply chain, because it is such a core to what you are up to, and I know that there are some characteristics that you care about the most. One of them, I think that you mentioned to me was being very responsive, but what are the priorities when you are redesigning a supply chain?

[00:24:30] What are the kinds of things that you know is like top of mind for you? 

[00:24:34]Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:24:34] Start with the customer experience  how do we make sure that is clear on how it is impacting the customer now to help with the customer experience. How do we drive that responsiveness in your supply chain so that we can respond very quickly to what is happening at the demand side, the customer side, and then LinkedIn.

[00:24:55] Then the next one is really the resiliency. How do we build that resiliency in [00:25:00] supply chain so that we can react very quickly? If there is one thing that COVID DARPA's is that resiliency in our supply chains actually help the world to, in one way to survive the span to make and continue to survive. So how do we drive that resiliency in the supply chain?

[00:25:18] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:25:18] What do you think about these very traditional concepts that have been part of, and I, you had your start of your career in automotive, lean management is something that everybody wanted to copy. And, the Toyota processes and, a lot of from the country you chose not to study in, essentially because that you weren't convinced they were vegetarian enough, but anyway w what do you think about the I guess the heritage from lean and mixed in with some of the, the agile tradition from software, is that altogether a new paradigm and what is that look like and who, who's describing it, if you would maybe  describe where some of your influences come from when you are designing a, such a large organization [00:26:00] around these principles, 

[00:26:01] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:26:01] And the heart, the lean principles and agile principles are still really valid.

[00:26:07]If you think about lean, what it is saying is think about the flow, eliminate the waste and continue to improve and zero defects as possible. So that mindset has to be there for us to even look at digital. What digital is doing is actually helping us to implement linear and faster and how do you get there. Now from a responsiveness and we talked a lot about the responsiveness and reacting and resiliency that requires this modular mindset, those traditional boundaries of  from plan to make plan source, make, deliver. This is becoming a network. The only way you can survive in that network is having that ideal mindset where we bring people together very quickly, get the problem solved daily, what that MVP and don't look back and then move onto the next one.

[00:26:57]So the agile principles around [00:27:00] bringing the teams together very quick. The focus on the key priorities and delivering on the MVP, aligned with the lean thinking to make sure that there is no waste. And we are really getting the Florida on actually is a great combination of these two. And these are the two things that need to come together, even for us to roll out the digital solutions very quickly in our operations and the COVID has been a great example.

[00:27:25] If you think about how we came together to deliver product for the instruments in a very quick way, right across the world what two away has been a great example that shows that it can be done. So that's where the lean foundations and then the ideal mindset are extremely critical. Even for us to drive this digital transformation.

[00:27:55] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:27:55] How this was built. What are some of the best [00:28:00] influences that, help you along the way? We talked a little bit about startups that bring, the app mindset and maybe some of the agile thinking, it doesn't necessarily come from startups, but certainly it does exist with startups.

[00:28:13] Where are these industry practices that you are increasingly kind of embodying atJ and J where do you think they come from? 

[00:28:22] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:28:22] Actually, they have come from many places, and your startups, really one of the places where we can naturally see how their mindset is there in terms of test and learns and learning from failure and move forward.

[00:28:37] And even I'm looking at some of the journeys, like how companies like Tulip evolving as well. Especially those companies, those are from a startup to accelerating phase. That's where we are seeing lot of the laws that we can look. And one of the big things that are danger look at is how can we look at our CEO and saying, Hey, we need to add 135 year old startup.

[00:29:00] [00:28:59] So how do we actually look at it? And to your point where we are looking for, we are looking for. It would be been right. One is really that those startups, but more importantly, those startups that kind of cut that first phase and now accelerating that's where that whole, all the processes need to come together.

[00:29:17] And then at the end of the day, we still have to be reliable and we are in a regulated industry. So how do we make sure that the patient safety product quality are the top priority and our processes are reliable, that's where the established companies also help us on how do we continue to drive

[00:29:34] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:29:34] yeah, because I that's what I guess I wanted to drive to because there is an established idea in the established industry to look for industry best practices. And, in the manufacturing space, there are these lighthouse projects, companies that on their own might have lighthouse projects that are especially good.

[00:29:55] And the world economic forum has lighthouse factories. In fact, they have designated [00:30:00] places around the world where they have tracked and figured out that they are. Of a sufficient quality to put up as inspirational lighthouses for others. W what is your view on, how well that works as a practice, for example, you have a hundred sites.

[00:30:15] Is it possible to tell one side,  become more like side A because, look at site a how well they're doing. Isn't that also a bit of a challenging message to communicate? No one likes to be like, all right. I understand. My golf swing is not up to par. I get it. I need to look at my neighbor over here.

[00:30:34] It's not always a fantastic message. 

[00:30:37] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:30:37] Speaking of that, actually, we have five sites that are latency. And we have one that is going to come up with one of the projects that we're working as well as in one of the sites with Tulip for the lighthouse side. But the thing is the knowledge grows by sharing the more you share, the more you're going to grow the knowledge and the faster the adoption is going to be.

[00:30:58] You're absolutely right. It does not mean [00:31:00] that just because this is a lifestyle site, they are at like a pedestal and then everybody else is another place. I actually look at the other way around what did those lighthouse sites do that we can actually copy and paste. So I don't have to lean way.

[00:31:15] . And then I can focus on something else as well. So the lighthouse sites are helping us to really share that knowledge so that we can learn from one another. We can build on it, and then we eliminate the need for us to redo the things that they have gone through. But you're absolutely right.

[00:31:32] That doesn't mean that those are the only sites that are doing everything and everything. Everybody else is not, but sometimes the lab, the. Guides that are coming behind. The lighthouse might be the best of thing because they can get five lighthouse practices and implement and then really show that they can actually transform their manufacturing operations much more faster.

[00:31:54]Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:31:54] And that's true, right? In the history of manufacturing it's you can actually leap frog it. It is [00:32:00] still a field where, if you do many things you definitely make a difference. I wanted to shift tack a little bit of ruin and a move to like coming year, coming years.

[00:32:08] What are some of the industry developments that you are the most excited about? So we've talked, generally about digital, we've talked about personalization, what are some of the things that are going to be most crucial to get? And even just like in the year ahead, it's been a very.

[00:32:23] It's been a wild ride right? In the last 12 to 15 months, what's going to hit us in the next year. And what are you focused on? 

[00:32:30] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:32:30] So let me break it into a few different areas. One is purely from the technology side of it, right? If you look at how 3d printing is going to evolve and how it is going to help us to change significant.

[00:32:47] How the digital twin and digital trends that are coming up fast, that we can actually connect. And then more importantly, how the machine learning and AI models that are coming up that help us to [00:33:00] be responding very quickly. So I'm very excited about those areas, how 3d printing is transforming our operations, how we are able to bring digital twins, digital thread, and machine learning to really drive that end to end thread all the way to the customer

[00:33:17] the second area is from a mindset point of view is how resiliency and responsiveness has become a kind of like a norm law. If you think about the COVID pandemic, what it has done is how that resiliency and responsiveness has become a norm. So how do we actually drive that? And don't lose that as we come out of the pandemic and then go forward.

[00:33:47] And the final one is I'm going to go back and harp on the culture side of it. How do we drive that culture where we let that operators be empowered? And learn from it and let them be the [00:34:00] Kings. And we all saw the operator hashtag operator roles, and we support that cultural change, that digital change, and which is really going to be accelerated because they are becoming more and more digital savvy. So there is the technology aspect and there is actually this responsiveness. And finally, how do we drive that digital savvy across the organisation. 

[00:34:20] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:34:20] So my last question and I don't know how fair that question is in an, in a context that you're in, because I could imagine that given the amount of factors that are moving at any given moment, very longterm thinking seems perhaps a little farther away from your everyday life, right? Because there are so many things that could go wrong literally every minute. But if you do look, if you permit yourself and me to think a little bit longer term, towards the next decade what are, are these things that on the digital side, you know, digital twins and AI and machine learning and 3d printing.

[00:34:58] As this scent in this [00:35:00] decade moves to a close are there other things on your horizon as well? That will even more drastically transformed the landscape. Our factories are digital factories gonna be really coming into the scene and, really transforming the way are we going to recognize a factory, even, the next decade, or am I over blowing this?

[00:35:20] And, things are just fairly complicated and it's going to take quite a long time to shake out and integrate all these technologies with all of the workforce challenges and the cultural challenges that you just pointed out. 

[00:35:31] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:35:31] Yes. And then imagining the future festival. I really love the idea of almost no interface into the use of technology.

[00:35:42] Can we get to that? That's one. The second thing is yes, there will still be like big manufacturing areas some of them are tied to the physics and biology, so we cannot change. But everything else can actually significantly change. If you think of our, can we [00:36:00] actually do a factory in a box very quickly for a vaccine production in a like that would've been more that cannot afford and we deploy it very quickly.

[00:36:11] So we will, we get to a point where it becomes more of like Lego blocks that we can assemble very quickly and get it up and planning and everything has equally digital model that we really don't have to worry about it. It is not about the digital twin of my operation. But if I take the digital twin of my patients' body and the digital twin of operations, think about how easy for me to actually less foreign to that personalized request or personalized medicine.

[00:36:40]Since you are, let me imagine and let my thoughts flow a little bit more, or it's really bringing that digital equal NC. So can I actually take my digital equal and responed for the digital twin to get the personalized product for me, either in a batch of one, or even maybe like batch of 10, if a batch of one is not possible.

[00:36:59][00:37:00] So the factories of the future, yes some of them might not significantly changed. But most of them will be that flexible, where to bring them together for specific product or specific customer and being able to re assemble very quickly to do something else. And then the intelligence, can it move to the equipment so that the equipment itself can rearrange itself based on the customer.

[00:37:29] But then what is the implication to the workforce and what is the implication to the operators? So this way, where getting those operators to be a lot more digital savvy and really helping to manage this complexity will be a great foundation. But at the same time, that is something that we all need to watch, right?

[00:37:48] Yes. All of this can happen, but we need to watch for how do we bring our people together? 

[00:37:54] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:37:54] Yeah. And I could just imagine being, putting myself back in my old [00:38:00] government days, scratching my head about self-regulating systems in the medical field. That would seem to be a little bit of a challenge as well.

[00:38:08] So there are so many interesting challenges, but it seems to me that even if you are occupied, every minute with operational challenges and even just digitizing a supply chain without fundamentally changing its logic is gonna, it's going to take, all men and women on deck, it's just, it's a cultural challenge. It's not just a technology challenge. 

[00:38:30] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:38:30] Absolutely.  Is a cultural. 

[00:38:31]Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:38:31] Look, it's been a fascinating to hear and I hope I can chat back in with you. It seems to me that if we had this interview just even just 15 months ago, some of these challenges might've looked a little bit less rosy and we wouldn't have been, discussing about the next decade.

[00:38:47]I'm assuming that a lot of things for you in your business have really, opened up through, throughout this pandemic, is that right? It's some of these opportunities just weren't there before. 

[00:38:58] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:38:58] Absolutely. Lot of the [00:39:00] acceleration, first of all we are privileged to serve our patients and we have a big part in helping the world get through the pandemic, our vaccine, and even how we have brought in digital twin, into our vaccines in a very fast way.  Was enabled by the pandemic situation, the whole digital acceleration of some of our solutions that were sitting on the shelf, but almost like six to nine months, the demand for them grew up within the past few months of the pandemic. So the digital acceleration of our operations has happened. The third thing, as I said earlier, is the digital savvy of our day-to-day citizen is helping us to bring these values much more faster to our patients and customers 

[00:39:47]Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:39:47] That's a very interesting statement because when you cannot innovate faster than your end client, then you're really dealing with the total ecosystem here, right? You actually depend on your end [00:40:00] and your end client to be caught up with all of these technologies.

[00:40:03] It's a fascinating challenge and probaply very important too, because it, there's an a little bit of an insurance policy there Arun, because if you cannot be more advanced than your end user is, at least you have the time to, or you have to take the time to educate the end user and get their real feedback on what needs to happen.

[00:40:23]So that leaves me on an optimistic note. And if you have any last statement, I certainly, I thank you for your time. And if you have a last challenge, there are so many  challenges where you could launch. But if you think to your fellow industry executives, what is the one thing maybe you want to leave them with that?

[00:40:42] What you think is a shared challenge to people should focus more on in industry. These days? 

[00:40:49] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:40:49] keep the operator at the center as tech operator rules. Let's make sure that we empower them, we help them to be as digitally savvy as [00:41:00] possible. That will actually help us to move this narrative much more faster 

[00:41:05] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:41:05] Arun, I thank you so much.

[00:41:06] It's been a pleasure and I hope I can invite you back someday. 

[00:41:10] Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba: [00:41:10] Definitely has been great Trond.

[00:41:13] Trond Arne Undheim, host: [00:41:13] You had just listened to episode 43 of the Augmented podcast with hosts Trond Arne Undheim. The topic was digitized supply chain. Our guest was Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba, head of global manufacturing it at Johnson and Johnson. In this conversation, we talked about why J and J that's operators at the center of its strategy.

[00:41:37] My takeaway is that operators are the key to the next phase of industrial evolution. That which involves the deep digitalization of manufacturing it's supply chain, production, capacity personalization. And with that, the reinvention of factory production  itself. Thanks for listening if you like the show subscribe at augmentedpodcast.co or in [00:42:00] your preferred podcast player and rate us with five stars.

[00:42:03] If you liked this episode, you might also like episode 21, the future of digital in manufacturing episode 27 industry 4.0 tools or episode 10, a brief history manufacturing software, Augmented conversations on industrial tech.


Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba Profile Photo

Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba

VP, Global Manufacturing IT Product Line at J&J Technology

Arun Kumar Bhaskara-Baba is Global Head of Manufacturing Systems at Johnson & Johnson. His
team is responsible for technology across 100+ manufacturing sites – across all segments of Johnson
& Johnson (Consumer, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, and Consumer Medical Devices). His
team is also accountable for driving the digitization of manufacturing across J&J and implementing
advanced manufacturing applications to transform the manufacturing foot print of J&J. In addition,
his team is accountable for enabling advanced manufacturing technology including 3-D printing and
Personalized Medicine. Key goals include driving significant improvement in the cycle time, quality
and cost of the manufacturing operations.
Arun’s previous role was Global CIO for Janssen Supply Chain – managing end to end IT capabilities.
Arun joined the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in January 2007 to establish a global
service capability and build a world class application design and development organization, including
the SAP Competency Center. He integrated global delivery centers across Asia and Latin America,
establishing first global IT delivery centers. He also held the role of Global head of IT Security,
Quality & Compliance, and Risk Management. Before joining J&J, Arun worked in various IT roles
at Dell, Ford Motor Company, and Tata Consulting Services.
Arun has a strong passion for development, inclusion, and diversity. He is the co-chair of the Global
South Asian Professional Network and Association (SAPNA) Board and was the executive sponsor
of the Employee Resource Group chapters. Arun currently mentors several SAPNA team members
and is proud of the diverse talent pool he has been privileged to bring into Johnson & Johnson. He
teaches Digital Supply Chain Engineering course for Masters Students at Rutgers University. Arun
holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has a Bachelor’s degree in
Electronics (Communication Engineering) and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the
Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, India. Arun holds CSCP, PMP, Executive Black Belt, Lean / Six
Sigma certifications. Arun lives in Belle Mead, New Jersey, with his physician wife and they are
proud parents of two sons.